The Marcellus shale play, located in the Appalachian Basin, is emerging as one of North America's most promising natural gas resources. Recent advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing have made shale plays such as this more economical. These advances have intensified the need for high-quality, wide-azimuth seismic data, which often was not recorded in the past for the basin's conventional reservoirs.
Survey areas in the Marcellus play are typically characterized by operational obstacles that create challenges for both seismic crew productivity and Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) issues. These obstacles include heavily populated urban areas, interstate highways, strip mining, power plants, forested areas with a heavy canopy, and rivers. Given these conditions, a minimal operational footprint is required, and INOVA's FireFly cableless recording system, coupled with VectorSeis sensor technology, is an ideal solution for the data acquisition. ION's geophysicists designed stakeless surveys - a first in the Marcellus - that allowed them to focus on the imaging objectives while achieving an overall reduction in environmental exposure.
The ClearfieldSCAN multi-client survey is located in Clearfield and Centre Counties, in Central Pennsylvania. The program is approximately 256 square miles.
The LakeviewSCAN multi-client survey is located in Sesquehanna County, in northeastern Pennsylvania, and is comprised of roughly 150 square miles.
- Understand the extent, varying thickness, and primary fairway of the play to determine acreage assessment
- Stay within " zone" and avoid geo-hazards, minimizing the time to drill and complete each well
- Estimate in-situ stress conditions and characterize the density and orientation of the naturally occurring fractures for "sweet spot" mapping and the definition of a development drilling program that maximizes the number of high performing wells
- Understand rock properties such as reservoir and frac barrier brittleness